Monday, March 7, 2011

David Cupps Reports on Lexington's Diocesan Convention

Bishop Stacy Sauls predicts same sex blessings will pass at GC12

Diocesan convention in Kentucky is like a family reunion. We are all deeply connected in many ways, with many friends across the years and miles, and it’s great to see everyone. My biggest takeaway was the strong support shown for LGBT people throughout the weekend.

This year's family reunion was a "working" one for me. I arrived the night before the convention started and assembled the beautiful display provided by Integrity USA’s national office. It always draws attention from the crowds.I also set out our fabulous buttons and literature. Integrity always wants to educate convention members about our great work.

The next morning, I distributed to each parish an invitation to become a Believe Out Loud parish, which if accepted, recognizes them as openly welcoming to LGBT worshippers. Our diocese had five BOL parishes before the convention began and I gave their deputations some Integrity buttons to wear, and many promptly put them on. In fact, out of the 100 buttons I arrived with, only 15 were left at the end of the weekend!

In some ways, the highlight of the weekend came when Bishop Stacy Sauls gave his annual address to the convention. In one significant section of his address (audio available here), Bishop Sauls told everyone that in 2012, our General Convention will vote to approve rites for blessing same-sex relationships, and he supports their passage. And if they pass, he will authorize their use in our diocese. While some dioceses are way beyond this point, it’s still a step forward for us, and from the crowd’s reaction, it’s a step we’re happy to take together.

Kentucky is a mostly rural Southern state and we are blessed to have so many people and parishes that are very open to marriage equality. One of our Believe Out Loud parishes has a new rector that said she’s scheduling gay weddings the minute that General Convention passes the rites!

So many positive things came out of the weekend – the many people signing up for our email list, the parishes newly interested in becoming officially welcoming, the newfound confidence that LGBT equality is really coming, even in Kentucky. But the best part for me was feeling supported by my family, blessed in my relationships, and moving forward together.

David Cupps
Diocese of Lexington
Treasurer, Integrity Board of Directors


Tom Fehr said...

Was this actually from the Diocese of Lexington? That's where Stacy Sauls is bishop.

Integrity USA said...

Thanks, Tom! Title changed.